Choosing a career path is one of the most monumental decisions you will ever make in your life. There are some of us who know where we are headed right from childhood. We role play as kids and end up exactly where we planned, i.e. teachers, entertainers, etc. There are others who follow the lineage of the family, i.e. miners, lawyers, retail merchants. And then there are those who make you say, "Really? What were they thinking?"
Last night at Thanksgiving dinner, as always amongst 50+ somethings, the conversation goes back to bowel movements. Don't ask why. It's still a phenomenon to me. But I assume as we get older...our bowels just aren't as regular as they once were as kids, so we look forward to discussing it with our peers. Why you ask? I'm not sure but that brings me back to the original thought process I started with. Why would anyone CHOOSE to be a proctologist? I mean, what satisfaction could you possibly gain from looking up someone's asshole? I've thought about this quite a bit. Again, don't ask why. It has nothing to do with age because I've questioned this choice since I was in my 20's when I first had the unwilling pleasure of visiting one.
Have you ever gone to a proctologist? You know how doctors hang pictures in their offices of your digestive system, your bones, your heart, lungs, brain. Guess what proctologists have pictures of? That's right...that long and winding road through the colon to the rectum ending in the anus factimus (not a real word...I just liked the sound of it). Knowing that the rectum is the storage facility for feces, a mini silo if you will...please tell me what goes thru a human's mind to have this passion for exploring that map to the little hole within the tushy! What is the fascination you could possibly experience every day by checking out the rectal walls of another human? Could it be satisfying for them to see the humiliation we all, as patients, experience from putting our butts right up into their face. And I mean...RIGHT IN THEIR FACE. Take it from me...I've had that pleasure, and you can't imagine the bonding that you share with your physician. You also can't imagine what goes thru your head as you're prepping for the office visit.
Omitting my embarrassing reasons for my visit, I would like to share the thought process that I have to think all proctology patients have in common prior to entering that hell hole known as the proctologist's office.
· The shower. Let us scrub the area as thoroughly as we can and make sure we do not have to use the restroom immediately prior to the visit, so that there are no little pieces of Charmin hanging on for dear life in the general area.
· The timing of our pooping. Let us eat at an hour where the digestive system has time to move that food quickly thru our bodies and enter the porcelain potty prior to our visit.
· The type of foods we eat. Do NOT eat broccoli, cauliflower, beans or any Mexican food prior to our visit. The exploding gas compounds that may emanate from our anal canal would be sure to knock the doctor clear across the room since s(he) will be in such close proximity to our anal erectus (again...not a real word).
· The doctor's examining table position. Are we on all fours with our asses in the air so the doctor can be at a standing position with his face directly at eye level with the hole? Are we on our sides, in the fetal position, which brings us back to childhood and our vulnerability? Do we stand up, touch our toes and he leans into the butt?
· The accomplice. Who will his/her assistant be? Please don't let it be anyone we could possibly know.
· The waiting room. Again...please don't let ANY of the patients be someone I have ever encountered anywhere in the history of my existence.
Which brings me to my visit when I was in my 20's and not in that same frame of mind I am now, which is the "I don't give a shit" mode (no pun intended). Back then, embarrassment came much more readily. So this was not something I was easily embarking on. I made it thru the waiting room experience. Whew...no one I recognized. Thank you very much. On to the examining room. Off came my clothes from the waist down with the sheet draping over the bottom part of my body, my feet dangling with my socks still on. Such a great look but ok..not so bad yet. The MALE doctor enters the room, introduces himself and asks why I am there. I explain my reasons and he tells me to lie down and lean over on my right side and draw my legs up to my chest. I am so thankful that I don't have to look him in the face during this procedure. I also tried to ignore the 20 inch needle he had put on his instrument table before telling me what position to assume. So there I am, facing the wall, butt exposed, beet red in the face, and I hear him open the door and tell his assistant, "Gloria, Please tell the 5 students it's ok to come in now to observe."
The rest is just a blur.